Barnette gets start at QB for Als

Jamie Barnette will get a shot at revitalizing the struggling Montreal Alouettes.

Barnette will start at quarterback when the Als take on the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium on Saturday.

Once considered Grey Cup favourites, the Alouettes have struggled since losing starting quarterback Anthony Calvillo to a slightly torn rotator cuff in the first quarter of Montreal's 21-20 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sept. 30.

Calvillo was replaced by Dan Gonzalez, a prototypical pocket passer.

The Alouettes are 0-2 behind Gonzalez, and winless in their last four.

Last week Gonzalez was intercepted four times in an embarrassing 51-24 loss to the Toronto Argonauts.

Barnette who played the final 12 minutes against the Argos and completed two of seven passes for 38 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown to Thomas Haskins. Barnette was intercepted once and ran twice, gaining 18 yards.

"Jamie Barnette works as hard or harder than anyone on this team," general manager Jim Popp said. "He wants a chance and has been waiting for it.

"He moves around and can get out of the pocket. He's also a better thrower on the run than (Gonzalez)."

A bit of controversy developed last week when Als' coach Rod Rust initially christened Barnette his new starter after the Argo game.

Rust has maintained all along that Popp makes all decisions concerning roster from game to game.

Rust's proclamation led the media to conclude that a rift or power struggle was developing between the coach and GM.

Popp has denied such speculation.